Nickelodeon Confirms SpongeBob SquarePants Is a Member of the LGBTQ+ Community

Nickelodeon Confirms SpongeBob SquarePants Is a Member of the LGBTQ+ Community
Art: Ramzy Masri
The titular character of Nickelodeon's long-running underwater cartoon series, SpongeBob SquarePants, has been confirmed as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Just in time for Pride Month, the eccentric animated sponge has officially come out, according to Nickelodeon's Twitter — though the network did not specify which sexuality or gender expression the character identifies with.

"Celebrating Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month," the network tweeted yesterday (June 13), alongside photos of SpongeBob, queer Avatar character Korra and Canadian transgender actor Michael D. Cohen.

Late series creator Stephen Hillenburg admitted back in the early 2000s that SpongeBob was probably asexual, an identity that is now widely accepted as part of the queer community. That is to say, SpongeBob isn't necessarily homosexual as some might assume from this announcement — but, as some fans suggest, he could be homo- or panromantic.

"We never intended them to be gay," Hillenburg told Reuters in 2005. "I consider them to be almost asexual. We're just trying to be funny and this has got nothing to do with the show."

Of course, sexuality can be fluid for some individuals, so as it stands, we don't know for sure how SpongeBob identifies 15 years later. All that matters is he's out and proud.

Read the tweet below.